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The Takács String Quartet

Internationally acclaimed Takács String Quartet will perform Beethoven works in a Chamber Music Concert at 8 p.m. Friday, March 14, at the Southern Oregon University Music Recital Hall, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

The evening features Beethoven's String Quartet in C major, Op. 59 No. 3, "Rasumovsky"; String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130; and the Grosse Fuge, Op. 133. The Cleveland Plain Dealer stated, "The Takács might play this repertoire better than any other quartet in the past or present."

The Takács Quartet is based in Boulder, Colo., where it has been in residence at the University of Colorado since 1983.

The group was formed in 1975 at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest by Gabor Takács-Nagy, Károly Schranz, Gabor Ormai and András Fejér, while all four were students.

Violinist Edward Dusinberre joined the quartet in 1993 and violist Roger Tapping in 1995. Violist Geraldine Walther replaced Tapping in summer 2005. Of the original ensemble, Karoly Schranz and Andras Fejer remain.

The quartet first received international attention in 1977, when it won first prize and the critics' prize at the International String Quartet Competition in Evian, France. The quartet has also won the Gold Medal at the 1978 Portsmouth and Bordeaux Competitions and first prizes at the Budapest International String Quartet Competition in 1978 and the Bratislava Competition in 1981.

Takács String Quartet made its North American debut tour in 1982. In addition to its residency at the University of Colorado, the ensemble is also a resident quartet at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

In 2005, its members were named associate artists of the South Bank Center in London. In 2001, the Takács Quartet was awarded the Order of Merit of the Knight's Cross of the Republic of Hungary.

Now entering its 31st season, the Takács Quartet has performed in virtually every music capital in North America, Europe, Australasia and Japan, as well as at festivals, including Aspen, Berlin, Cheltenham, City of London, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Salzburg, Schleswig Holstein and Tanglewood.

The ensemble is also known for its award-winning recordings on the Decca label, including, most recently, its recording of the complete Beethoven Quartet Cycle which has been awarded a Grammy Award, two Gramophone Awards, the BBC Music Disc of the Year Award (late quartets), the Classical Brits Award for Ensemble Album of the Year (late quartets) and three Japan Record Academy Chamber Music Awards.

In addition to performing in concert halls around the world, the Takács String Quartet made a 14-city U.S. tour with the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Pinsky.

There will be a free pre-concert lecture by musicologist Ed Wight at 7 p.m. in the second-floor Choir Room of the SOU Music Building.

Tickets to the concert are $35 and $40. Call 552-6154.

Chamber Music Concerts will present the Takács String Quartet performing a concert of works by Beethoven. - Casey A. Cass